Majority Hindus in Kerala - A Myth ; SC, ST and Ezhavas are not Hindus declares P C George
By George, Kerala Hindus aren’t a majority for Cong allies
VR JAYARAJ | KOCHI - Daily Pioneer
Hindus constitute 56 percent of Kerala population, but political parties of religious minorities in the State’s ruling front have found some strange methods of demography to project them as a minority with the devious objective of overtaking the majority community in all aspects of social life, starting with representation in the State Cabinet.
According to certain allies of the Congress party’s the ruling UDF coalition, Hindus in Kerala are no bigger force than the Muslims and Christians who together account for 44 percent of total Kerala population. Muslims constitute 25 percent of the Kerala population and Christians 19 percent.
The proponent of this strange idea is PC George, Kerala Government chief whip, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s personal trouble-shooter and vice-chairman of the Kerala Congress (M), a political party of the Christians based mainly in Kottayam, Kerala’s latex capital. George claimed the other day that the theory that Hindus are religious majority in Kerala was a myth.
Though the primary aim of George, a Catholic, is to justify the Muslim League’s claim for a fifth berth in the Chandy Cabinet and his own party’s demand for a Rajya Sabha seat, observers are apprehensive that his theory could lead to a situation where the minorities can upset the social harmony presently prevailing in God’s Own Country.
Once newly elected MLA Anoop Jacob of the Kerala Congress (J) takes oath (which has to happen soon), the minorities will have 11 Ministers (55 percent) in the 20-member Chandy Cabinet though their combined share in the population is 44 percent. If the Muslim League’s fifth Minister becomes a reality, the entire community balance would be upset.
Even presently, minorities have a clear upper hand in the Chandy Government. George was made the Chief Whip instead of Minister but he is enjoying the status of and all the privileges available to a Cabinet member. It is also a fact that important portfolios like Industries, Finance, Law, Education, Public Works and Water Resources are held by Ministers from the minorities.
Stating that the Muslim League deserved to get seven (“not five or six”) Cabinet berths if its vote-base seen in the last Assembly election was taken into account, George told the media the other day that the CPI(M) was opposing the minorities’ just rights in their efforts to play the “majority communalism card”.
“As per the latest census figures, Christians and Muslims constitute 44 percent of the total Kerala population. The scheduled castes and scheduled tribes form 12 percent and 27 percent (among the Hindus) of the population are Ezhavas. This shows that Hindus are not a majority in Kerala,” George said.
According to observers, George is being extra-clever by excluding Dalits and Adivasis from the Hindus. Equally strange is his exclusion of Ezhava, a backward Hindu caste, they say. Experts in population studies have no idea as to how George is going to justify his premises but they say that he could be trying to start some controversy.
“There has never been any doubt over the religion to which the Adivasi-Dalits and Ezhavas belong at any point of time in Kerala. George is perhaps trying to trigger such a dispute with the objective of establishing minority hegemony in Kerala. If that is so, it is going to be dangerous,” said an Alappuzha-based historian.
George’s claim for more representation for minorities has come at a time when the Chandy Government is already accused of bowing to their pressures in all aspects of governance. Even KR Gowri, leader of UDF constituent JSS, said on Sunday that Kerala was presently seeing the strongest combination of communal and community forces since 1957.
“Even now, the State is being ruled by the Muslim League,” said Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan, adding that a fifth Minister for that party would affect the community balance in the Government. He also said that he did not want to respond to the “nonsensical” statements of PC George.